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Hooley ‘a great fit’ – says Baxter


Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter believes new signing Will Hooley is a "great fit" for his side after he today sealed a move from Aviva Premiership counterparts Northampton Saints.

The 21-year-old fly-half is the latest addition in what is proving a busy period of squad strengthening from Baxter ahead of the 2015/16 season.

Already the Devon club have brought in Geoff Parling, Ollie Woodburn, Michele Campagnaro, Ollie Atkins and Shaun Malton – and Hooley’s arrival will further boost what is looking like another powerful mix at Sandy Park next term.

“Will is a young fly-half who is very similar in a lot of ways to some of our young lads in that he was involved in the England Under-20s World Cup squad a couple of years ago,” said Baxter. “He has gone on from there and had some first team games for Northampton and done very well when he has had the opportunity.

“We are just delighted that we can add a young quality fly-half to the squad. He is at the right age for us to bring into the squad at the moment and he has a lot of the qualities that we look for.

“He has also  played some high-level first team rugby and within those games we thought he played very well. From his perspective, I think he is about ready for a new challenge and it ticks a lot of boxes.

It is a good matchup for both us and for Will.”

As Baxter has shown over the past two seasons in particular, young players are often afforded their chance to shine, if they prove the necessary credentials are in place for them to become key figures within the first team.

“We were in a position where we could have a look and see what was available in the market and we think this is a good fit for both of us,” continued Baxter.

“Will is very aware that it is a fantastic challenge here for him, what with Henry Slade and Gareth Steenson being here. It will be a big challenge for him to get into the starting line-up, but those are the kind of challenges a player wants.

“He will come here and if he proves his worth and becomes the form player we will pick him – that is what we do here. We have also been very impressed with his attitude and his demeanour. He came across very well and, as I said, I think he will be a really good fit for us.”

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